Martian Clouds

Scaled Image

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU

About this image

The atmosphere of Mars is a dynamic system. Water-ice clouds, fog, and hazes can make imaging the surface from space difficult. Dust storms can grow from local disturbances to global sizes, through which imaging is impossible. Seasonal temperature changes are the usual drivers in cloud and dust storm development and growth. Eons of atmospheric dust storm activity has left its mark on the surface of Mars. Dust carried aloft by the wind has settled out on every available surface; sand dunes have been created and moved by centuries of wind; and the effect of continual sand-blasting has modified many regions of Mars, creating yardangs and other unusual surface forms. This image was acquired during early spring near the North Pole. The linear ripples are transparent water-ice clouds. This linear form is typical for polar clouds. The black regions on the margins of this image are areas of saturation caused by the build up of scattered light from the bright polar material during the long image exposure.

Please see the THEMIS Data Citation Note for details on crediting THEMIS images. 


Image ID: 
V10468011 (View data in Mars Image Explorer)
2004-04-24 00:57
Mon, 2004-06-28
512 pixels (20 km)
7584 pixels (296 km)
0.039118 km/pixel
0.039402 km/pixel


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